The expansion to the radiotherapy unit at Peterborough City Hospital was officially opened last week by generous fundraisers Mark Cross and Lesley Kalina.
The extra bunker built earlier this year has enabled an additional linear accelerator, the machine used to provide the radiotherapy, to be installed at the hospital. “We now have three linacs here at PCH” says Jamie Fairfoul, Head of Radiotherapy Physics. “Last year we treated around 1000 patients and this extra machine allows us to treat an additional 750, meaning those patients don’t need to travel to neighbouring hospitals during their treatment.”
The new area of the department was opened by two of the Trust’s dedicated fundraisers, Mark and Lesley. Both have been treated in the oncology department in previous years and have since made substantial donations that have gone towards equipment and facilities to help improve the experience for cancer patients.
The event was also attended by representatives from three local primary schools; Nene Valley, Orton Wistow and Woodston. Pupils from each of the schools provided themed artwork which is now being displayed in special ‘hot boards’ donated to the hospital by Progress Health. The drawings and paintings are brightening up the inside of each of the bunkers and help distract patients who visit for treatment. Each school also asked pupils to enter names for each of the linacs and the winning names were revealed during a tour of the department.
“We’d like to thank all of the schools and the teachers for coordinating this work for us,” says Paula Brown, Radiotherapy Manager. “Art is a form of therapy and the children have put so much effort into creating some really thought-provoking pictures for our patients to enjoy.”